One year into this pandemic it’s understandable that there is covid fatigue and a desire to put in the rear view mirror quarantine & social distancing.
Simply put however, these measures have kept us safe and are still needed.
The ideal quarantine period is still 14 days and we must recognize that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances opening up the economy against a small possibility of importation and spread the virus.
We can all agree that having some quarantine is better than none so where we will have debate is on the duration.
Some ask why not 3, 7, 9, 10 or maintain 14 day quarantine?
The science has shown that the average incubation period of the virus is 4-6 days.
Testing on day 5 or 6 for a 7- day quarantine period has the potential to miss infections.
A study in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality weekly Report evaluating a shortened quarantine period showed that among persons who tested negative on day 7 of quarantine after exposure to an infected person, 19% experienced symptoms or received positive test results in the following week.
Our new protocol reduces the quarantine period from 14 to 9 for the fully vaccinated.
The fully vaccinated can still become infected (though mildly or asymptomatically ) and transmit the virus.
We only have 38.9 % of the target population having received their first shot. In the week ahead we will learn of the numbers that are fully vaccinated.
A 9 day quarantine period balances safety and risk of exposure to the virus and opening the economy.
A negative test on day 9 is more likely to be a true negative with the release of the person safely into our community.
Until we have a significant proportion of our population vaccinated and protected , a shorter quarantine period can lead to viral importation and community spread necessitating curfews and lockdowns for containment.
Herd immunity is however not a panacea nor is it an on and off switch.
We do not reach herd immunity and suddenly return to normal . As a matter of fact we may never reach herd immunity and will have to learn to safely live with the virus in our community.
Getting vaccinated is still however the safest way of living with the virus until it disappears. It’s also the quickest way to get back to normal and to ensure that you do not get seriously ill or die when the virus returns.
I am not asking everyone to express gratitude for every decision made but please note that they are made with the best interest of all at heart. 🇰🇳🇰🇳🇰🇳🇰🇳🇰🇳🇰🇳🇰🇳